Transformative Thinking

What’s my excuse? That’s the first thought in my head when I saw this picture and read the article about Cynthia Arnold. She just ran a marathon (3 hours, 11 minutes), pushing her three children in a stroller (a total weight of 185-lbs), and I don’t go outside for a short training run because I think it is too hot (or windy, or dark, or cold, or ???). My question to myself, was instantly answered by myself: “I have no excuse!” Next question to myself: “If you don’t have an excuse…get going!”

Really, I have no excuse for my lack of running these past six months (i.e. all of 2019)! All I have to do is put my shoes on, grab a bottle of water and a hat and shuffle myself out the door and down the street. Instead, most days I have to do mental gymnastics to entice myself to go outside (or onto the treadmill) to go for a run. I think my excuse is this: I believe every thought that comes into my head! And rather than wait for a change of season, I need to have a change of thinking. Clearly, this change needs a catalyst; and I am so grateful for the spark which ignited my motivation anew by Cynthia Arnold and her story which was recently published in Runner’s World.

When I consider how Cynthia runs and trains for her race events, all of a sudden I feel LIGHT, UN-ENCUMBERED, and UN-ATTACHED! Hello, I wake up to my life’s stage and remember that I have the privilege to run whenever or wherever I desire…day or night, hot or cold…summer or winter! True, my desire to run ebbs more than flows these days, but desire is not everything. What I think and believe about my desire or lack of desire is of primary importance. My lazy, weak thinking (and believing) becomes my very own cryptonite! As I think I am…I become. How can I transform my tired, lazy bread-crumb dragging thoughts into energenic, motivational running thoughts? Is transformational thinking a matter of choice? Or is something more mystical required?

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What alchemy may I invoke to jump start my lackluster motivation? Is it as simple as seeing someone like Cynthia doing an amazing thing and believing that the same is possible for myself? If I think those kinds of thoughts, and follow that trail of thinking like bread crumbs on the yellow brick running path, is it possible that I can transform my running, mind and body, in three months? or six months? Perhaps…and as you can see in the picture above, I am a runner striving to run her best…even with weak thinking! And yet, when I consider how important running is to me, and how much I want to better my running and enlarge my accomplishments, it is these kinds of thoughts which begin to make me feel like a runner again. These are the thoughts which make me feel empowered…motivated…energized. When I consider what I have accomplished in my running past, I am propelled to believe that any running goal which I desire strongly enough is indeed within the realm of possibility for me.

So I have to tell you, and I am certain you already know this truth: It is very hard, solitary work, to strive towards achieving something big for yourself! Living life to the full or overflowing is not for sissies or weaklings of spirit. And this is why I so appreciate the running community, near and far; because runners of every shape, size and ability engage the same challenges when aspiring to run their best, whether in training or racing. Clearly, what makes a runner successful, or anyone else for that matter, is the strength of one’s desire and the will to train one’s mind to master the doubts of doom or gloom.

I have worked hard, logged a lot of miles, and try every day to be grateful for my physical health. I always want to be faster, better, and place higher. I enjoy competing and even when I’ve met my arbitrary goal for a race, I always pick apart how I could have done it even better.  I’ve failed a lot in my races, but I don’t let the failures define me. Instead, I choose to be happy about what I can do.  Carissa Liebowitz

So in all of this writing to and for you, I hope to become a part of the alchemy which may energize each one of us towards transformative thinking and moving and acting. I hope thereby to encourage you, if you are at all struggling with soggy-bread-crumb thinking or lack-luster desire. I hope you will read the stories behind the lives of successful runners like Deena Kastor, Carissa Liebowitz, and Cynthia Arnold. Read their back stories and remember, they believed they could achieve great things for themselves…and they were not afraid to work hard and keep their focus steady.

When I see the pictures and read the stories of my running heroes, I think they suffer not as I do. I think my heroes, young or old, are immune to weak thinking and struggle not with lack of motivation, or strength or confidence. And then…they remind me; they tell their story and they remind me; they wake me up to myself and my life as only I may live it. They share their experiences and in doing so, they help transform me and my thinking. I take their thoughts, and add them to my warehouse, to my repertoire of running possibilities.

 

 


One Thing

Only one thing is needful for a happy, healthy, life…and that is Love. Love for the Divine One, Love for ourselves and Love for others. At first glance this seems like a list of 3 needful things, but in reality, love administered to any one of these three, is love administered to all. How can that be? Because when love is transmitted, from one entity to another, it flows where it goes; it cannot be controlled or directed or restrained. When love flows, it flows like water; like wisps of wind, its course cannot be shunted, dammed, directed or diverted, because Love Exists…unbidden…it simply Is.

Your beliefs and thoughts are wired into your biology. They become your cells, tissues, and organs. There’s no supplement, no diet, no medicine, and no exercise regimen that can compare with the power of your thoughts and beliefs. That’s the very first place you need to look when anything goes wrong with your body.

A physician can help you monitor symptoms of imbalances and pay attention to signs that you need to do more to enhance your health, but it’s the Creator working within you that heals. Real health comes from Divine Love and infuses your body with vitality.  Christiane Northrup, M.D.

Love is viral! When Love flows from one life to another, it cannot be contained or quarantined. Love is no respecter of person or station. Love is not dependent on our ability to understand or comprehend it. Love IS…whether we perceive it or not, Love Remains as our only true Reality. Our awareness or lack of awareness does not affect Love’s potency or its ability to heal our injuries. Love Endures all things (yes even war, hate, and fear) and is able to wash away our grief, suffering, and disappointment. Love wraps and draws all creation close to her breast; we feel the wind and are reminded that Love’s breath is our breath, our essence, our Love. We only need to awaken from our nightmare, and realize that Love Is With Us; Love Is In Us; Love Is For Us. Love never fails or disappoints. Love always wins…

 


The Space Between

As I sit here this morning in quiet contemplation, I wonder what it is that the Lord would have me know and do today; I am thinking several things at once. First, today is Friday and it lays open and bare without the structure of work or requirement of appointments. That at first puts me at some dis-ease as I am so used to having my days booked and scheduled to the full. The other strand that is floating by my awareness is that I should be heading out the door for my morning run. But it’s still a little too cool for my liking, and truth be told, I feel less than motivated to go out when I have no ‘race’ on my calendar.

There are no idle thoughts. All thinking produces form at some level.
~A Course in Miracles~

So I am sitting here tapping away on my keyboard trying to be quiet and not upset so that I can hear the whispers and stirrings of Spirit. And yes, for many reasons, I am feeling a little out of sorts. All the ‘things’ that I look to for purpose and structure are lacking at this moment, and I’m trying to be okay with that because I want to fully occupy this time in space. I do not want to scamper away in fullness of care ~ I do not want to fill my hours with activity just to feel better about a momentary lull. I want to, and I think I am actually already beginning to, luxuriate in this quiet space between.

Understand that the right to choose your own path is a sacred privilege. Use it. Dwell in possibility. ~Oprah Winfrey~

So today, this morning, this moment in time, has given me some ideas about possibilities; about change; about simplicity; about contentment in any situation and condition; today, in these quiet minutes I have determined that a reduction is necessary.

Examine these thoughts, because they are fears about outcomes. But this worry is based on your need to know. Break the cycle of those thoughts by being aware of the now. Savor the quest, not the finish.
The Cool Impossible ~Christopher McDougall and Eric Orton

It is time to reduce my dependence on the need to sate every waking hour with movement; there is a stirring this morning to learn a new rhythm for the day; to recognize the value of each rest and pause for the gift that it is. The space between is indeed a destination which my soul craves; I must come here often…so that I may find respite and renewal.